Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Marvin Percy, 2 July '25, Wichita KS) Country singer, songwriter. Studied veterinary surgery, served in US Navy as pharmacist's mate; half American Indian, he turned to music, took mother's name and paraded as full-blooded Cherokee in regalia. Joined Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee show '46, wrote songs covered by Teresa Brewer, Justin Tubb, Connie Francis; appeared on Arthur Godfrey's talent show with own song 'Gonna Find Me A Bluebird' and won a week on Godfrey's morning radio show, then signed with MGM. 'Bluebird' was top 20 pop, no. 3 country hit '57; subsequent hits were 'Whole Lotta Woman' and 'Half-Breed' '58--9, plus minor duet 'Majesty Of Love' with Francis. Surgery on vocal cords took him out of circulation; with brother Ray he founded a glossy country magazine Trail which failed; recorded '60s on WB, UA, his own Brave label; toured UK '71 for the first time in twelve years and found new fans, made LP with London-based Country Fever (Albert Lee on guitar).